2 templates you can use for the ultimate cold pitch
Cold pitching can be intimidating, but it’s one of the most effective ways to secure work as a freelance writer. The good news? All you really need is a good template and a smart strategy.
Below, we’re breaking down what cold pitching is, why it works, and how you can start doing it.
What is cold pitching?
Cold pitching, also called cold emailing, is when you email a potential client unprompted. There are a few reasons freelance writers use cold pitches:
- To introduce themselves
- To offer or sell their writing services
- To inquire about writing opportunities
As a freelance writer, you might send a cold pitch to a small business owner to offer your copywriting services; to a content manager to ask about writing articles for the company’s site; to the owner of a blog to suggest an idea for a guest post; or to the marketing manager of a tech startup to promote your email writing.
Like any type of marketing, cold pitches aren’t foolproof, but they are a great way to get on a potential client’s radar and start a conversation.
6 components of a strong cold pitch
A good cold pitch includes the following elements:
- A personalized greeting. Make sure you address your email recipient by name (with correct spelling) and demonstrate your familiarity with the outlet or company in question. You could congratulate them on a recent award they won, for example, or highlight a great blog post on their site.
- An explanation of your writing specialties and skills. What kind of writer are you? What topics do you write about? Can you write quickly and turn in assignments on tight deadlines?
- A short list of relevant businesses, outlets, or brands you’ve written for. You can say their names or use general descriptors like “fintech startups” or “national science publications.”
- An explanation of the writing services you offer and why the company should care. What company needs are you addressing with your writing services? What problems are you helping solve?
- A link to your portfolio or website. If your portfolio covers a wide range of topics, you can include two or three links to relevant writing samples instead.
- A call to action. Suggest an action your email recipient can take after reading your pitch, like scheduling a discovery call or sending you follow-up questions.
Two versatile cold pitch templates you can use for any client
The most efficient way to cold pitch is to create one or two emails you can tailor to clients in different niches. Then you can easily send out batches of emails or fire off a cold pitch whenever you discover a viable prospect.
Template 1: For content marketing writing, blogging, and SEO writing
I recently discovered [company’s blog/resource center] and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the [articles/blog posts/case studies] that [explanation of what the articles/blog posts/case studies do].
Are you looking for writers to contribute to the [blog/resource center]? My name is [your name] and I specialize in writing [type of content you write] about [subject matter you specialize in]. I’ve written for [brands/companies/outlets] such as [names or types of brands/companies/outlets]. You can see some of my work here [website or portfolio link].
I’d love to help you create content that [specific example that shows you know what their goals are. E.g. “I’d love to help you create content that gives your customers the tools they need to better manage their business finances” or “I’d love to help you create smart, digestible content that gives your readers more information about the home security systems you offer.”]
Do you need help with any upcoming projects? If so, let me know what they are and we can move forward with a paid test piece. If you have questions or would like to set up a time to talk, please feel free to get in touch.
[Your contact information]
This cold pitch template works because it’s concise, straightforward, and versatile. You illustrate your knowledge of the company’s needs, offer your services as a solution, and demonstrate your credibility—all in just four short paragraphs.
Template two: For copywriting
I’ve been a fan of [company name] for years. I was recently [browsing the website/scanning your emails/perusing your social media] and noticed [specific example of something you either want to contribute to or help with. E.g. “I noticed the site doesn’t have any customer success stories” or “I noticed how tailored your social media ads are.”]
Do you need any new copywriters to help with that? My name is [your name] and I specialize in writing [type of content you write] about [subject matter you specialize in]. I’ve written for [brands/companies/outlets] such as [names or types of brands/companies/outlets]. You can see some of my work here [website or portfolio link].
I’d love to help you [specific example that shows you know what their goals are. E.g. “I’d love to help you write customer success stories that sell your products” or “I’d love to help you create compelling social media ads that get more clicks.”]
If you have questions or would like to set up a time to talk, please feel free to get in touch.
[Your contact information]
This email is succinct and compelling (like good copywriting should be). It also allows you to show off your writing skills, expertise, and brand knowledge.
Cold pitch your way to success
Cold pitching is a great way to land incredible writing gigs and develop ongoing relationships with clients. In addition to following the best practices outlined above, try these tips to get even more out of your cold pitches:
- Create a captivating subject line. Hook your reader instantly.
- Don’t waste time. Make sure your cold pitch is actually relevant to the person you’re emailing.
- Show your personality. Play around with the template language and phrasing to make your cold pitch sound like you.
- Proofread. Draft your message in a separate email and double check that there are no typos or errors.
Follow up. You’re more likely to get a response if you send a follow-up email one or two weeks after the initial cold pitch.